Understanding Homelessness Among High School Age Youth Joe Willard People’s Emergency Center, Philadelphia Staci Perlman, MSW, PhD University of Delaware, Newark INTRODUCTIONS Who are you? What brings you to this workshop? Any community collaborations on collecting and using data to understanding youth homelessness? Focus for Today • Prevalence • Impact • Addressing the Needs of Youth Scope of the Issue Percent of Homeless Individuals who were Unaccompanied Youth 31 Youth Estimates from HUD Point in Time Count Data Percent of Homeless Students who are Unaccompanied 30 25 National PA 24 20 19 15 13 10 5 6 6 7 0 AY1011 AY1112 AY1213 Prevalence… 100,000 v 1.6 million Why the difference? Estimates based on different definitions… Obtained using different methods… …Yield different counts Side by Side Comparison of State McKinney-Vento (School) Shelter (EH/TH) Does your community conduct a Youth PIT? What do you think can be done to improve our understanding of the number of youth experiencing homelessness? A strategy we tried: Youth Risk Behavior Survey Philadelphia YRBS • Conducted since 1991 • Asks about an array of youth risk behaviors • In 2009 and 2011, Philadelphia included three questions on housing status – making it one of few locations in the country to do so… Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) • Conducted biennially - usually during the spring • Completed in one class period (45 minutes) • Anonymous, no “skip-patterns” Philadelphia YRBS Housing Status Questions Where do you typically sleep at night? • At home with my parents or guardians Housed • At a friend's or relative's home with my parents or guardians • In a supervised shelter with my parents or guardians • In a hotel or motel, car, park, campground, or other public place with my parents or guardians Homeless with Family • At a friend's or relative's home without my parents or guardians • In a supervised shelter without my parents or guardians • In a hotel or motel, car, park, campground, or other public place without my parents or guardians Homeless Without Family (Unaccompanied Youth) Housing Status Ever Homeless Sleep Away From Home With a Parent Sleep Away From Home Without a Parent (Unaccompanied Youth) Kicked out, Thrown Out, Ran Away, or Abandoned (in the last 30 days) Prevalence 7.6% (n = 2,606) 3.5% (n = 1,215) 2.7% (n = 948) 11.1% (n = 3,834) Where Sleeping at Night Homeless with Unaccompanied Youth Family At a relative’s or friend’s 86.6% 80.5% In a shelter 13.4% 15.1% 0% 4.4% In a hotel/motel/ campground or other public place Youth Experiencing Homelessness: PIT Compared to YRBS Massachusetts PIT: 68 YRBS: 12,541 Philadelphia PIT: 17 YRBS: 2,163 Los Angeles, CA PIT: 366 YRBS: 34,370 Do you think this is something you could do in your community? Impact (or why it matters…) Interpersonal/Sexual Violence Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse Sexual Exploitation Bullying Substance Use/Abuse Smoking Alcohol Marijuana Mental Health Depression Anxiety Self-injury Behaviors Suicidal ideation Suicide attempts Academic Achievement/Engagement Truancy Poor academic performance Poor engagement High school dropout Some youth are more vulnerable than others… LGBTQ Unaccompanied Aging out Although youth experiencing homelessness are more vulnerable to adverse outcomes, many are resilient… Based on your experiences, what do you think promotes resiliency? Policy & Practice Addressing the Needs of Youth Increasing Usage Funding Engagement Research Increasing the Use of the YRBS Washington Massachusetts Wisconsin California – In Discussion Connecticut Hudson cty, NJ Philadelphia Delaware Maryland North Carolina Los Angeles, CA Texas Sample YRBS Questions Maryland Do your parents or guardians own or rent the home or place where you are living now? During the past 12 months, did you ever live away from your parents or guardians because you were kicked out, ran away, or were abandoned? During the past 12 months, where did you usually sleep at night? North Carolina Where do you typically sleep at night? Inclusion of LGQ Questions Youth All Experiencing Youth Homelessness LGBQ Among Homeless Connecticut 171,469 10,035 (4%) 1,870 (31%) Delaware 37,713 1,461 (4%) 339 (32%) Funding to Address Needs of Youth • Massachusetts: – Partnership between a school district and their local housing authority to house seniors in exchange for a pledge to graduate high school. – Statewide collaboration between CoC & Education • Phila: $250,000 PUSH grant • Grant proposals Engagement Around Youth Issues • Increased dialogue focused on youth • National Consortium • Youth Count! – Urban Institute recognition • USICH – blog • Future web site Research • Homeless Youth in Philadelphia: Prevalence and Mental Health Risks Manuscript • BMI manuscript (under review) • Substance use manuscript (in progress) • LGBTQ manuscript (in progress) What resources/policies seem to be working in your community? What is still needed? Thank You! We greatly appreciate the time and insight of the individuals who participated in the stakeholder interviews and who contributed to this study.